Secretive jet-setters drawn into alluring yet risky financial activity. Legal money launderers. This is how a recent Bloomberg article characterized credit card churners.
While it’s a slightly hyperbolic description for your casual churner, who’s more likely a suburban dad trying to get his family a discounted trip to Disneyland than the next Wolf of Wall Street, the characterization is not far-fetched for a more aggressive breed of churner who utilizes a technique called “manufactured spending” to reach minimum spend requirements.
Let me back up.
If you’ve read our recent articles on credit card churning, you know that the tantalizing sign-on bonuses almost always come with a stipulation: you need to spend a certain amount within a certain time period in order to receive them. The amount is usually feasible; a common offer is 50,000 airline miles if you spend $3,000 in three months.
The tricky part comes in when you start applying for more than one offer in a short time period. If you come across three amazing offers in one month, you may be looking at trying to spend $9,000 in three months, which is difficult for many.
How Do You Hit Those Minimum Spend Requirements?
Assuming you’re already using these credit cards for all of your daily purchases and you still don’t think you’ll hit the minimum spend, here are some additional purchases you can put on your credit card.
Buy Gift Card With Your Credit Card
If you know you’ll have a big purchase eventually but not immediately, go ahead and buy a gift card for a place that sells what you’ll be buying. Just make sure you can still pay off your card in full. Alternatively, you could buy gift cards for things you know you’ll continue purchasing regularly in the future, such as gas.